Exclusive poll: LA public supports striking teachers

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A new exclusive Eyewitness News poll shows broad support in Los Angeles for the thousands of teachers who are now on strike.

The SurveyUSA poll found that almost two-thirds of people polled support the strike, with 15 percent opposed and about 20 percent unsure.

Nearly three-quarters of the respondents believe that Los Angeles Unified School District teachers are not paid enough and that class sizes in the district are too big.

Asked if they approve of LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner's job performance, 30 percent said they disapprove, 15 percent approve and the rest were not sure.

About 30,000 LAUSD teachers went on strike Monday, after United Teachers Los Angeles and the district were unable to reach a new contract deal.

UTLA is seeking changes that include reduced class sizes, more support staff, including nurses and counselors, and salary increases. It is the first strike at LAUSD in 30 years.

Poll respondents were asked to give a letter grade to the performance of the district's schools. Only 6 percent offered an A grade. Another 27 percent graded LAUSD with a B and 36 percent said C. Another 15 percent said D and 5 percent gave a failing grade.

Of the parents who were surveyed in the poll, 61 percent said their child went to school Monday and 69 percent said their child would attend school Tuesday.

A majority of respondents also agreed with the teachers' contentions that elementary schools should have a full-time nurse and every middle and high school should have a full-time librarian.

The poll surveyed 700 adults in Los Angeles County.
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